Washington Camp Meeting 2004 Dorm Fire Forces Major Changes
Camp meeting each year is a wonderful conference-wide family reunion. It is a time to catch up with friends and family from throughout the conference and the Pacific Northwest. Each year, the Washington Conference family comes together for a wonderful 10-day spiritual feast. New memories are made and old ones are relived.
Imagine, however, planning for a family reunion and then suddenly your home burns down just a few months before the big day. Such was the problem facing the Washington Conference executive committee since the Auburn Adventist Academy girls' dormitory, which houses many camp meeting employees and speakers each year, was destroyed by fire last fall. As they reviewed this major problem, the executive committee voted the following:
• To cancel the 10-day camp meeting for 2004 at Auburn Adventist Academy due to safety concerns because of the construction of the girls' dorm and construction at Buena Vista Elementary, which is also on the campus.
• To return to a 10-day camp meeting in 2005 at the academy as previously planned. The dates for that meeting will be June 16–25, 2005.
Some of the main issues facing the committee as they made the decision were:
• The safety of visitors during major construction at two large sites during camp meeting. There were major liability issues involved with this much construction with so many people in a concentrated space. The expense of stopping construction for safety during camp meeting as well as delays that it would cause would add tremendously to the project in both time and expense.
• Camp meeting 2004 was in the budget for this year, but the additional expense of housing and security would have caused more than a $70,000 overrun in expenses in a year when the budget is balanced with little room for extra expenses.
It was additionally voted by the committee that in 2004 several one-day spiritual convocations will be held throughout the conference in place of this year’s camp meeting. One is planned at Auburn Adventist Academy on June 19, and a second will be June 26 at a location to be announced.
The camping and housing reservations that have been made will be carried over for 2005 unless those making the reservations would like to cancel them and have their deposit returned.
This was a hard decision faced by the conference executive committee. However, out of the ashes, a new girls' dorm will arise and we all look forward to 2005 when we will celebrate camp meeting with a brand new dorm.